Passing on the teachings of yoga; Spring Grove couple shares yoga benefits, offer classes

By : 
Jordan Gerard

There’s a major difference in yoga students before and after they attend a yoga class.

Mostly, it’s the stress they come in with and then the peace they feel after the class ends, literally leaving their stress at class.

That’s what Nora Beckjord see when they teach Svaroopa© yoga classes. Beckjord and her husband, Charles, are certified yoga instructors in Svaroopa© yoga and they bring their stress and tension relieving poses and strategies to Spring Grove.

“I can see how stressed out they are from their day, being involved in the community. Especially in Spring Grove, there’s a lot to do,” Nora said. “I like seeing them at the end of class. They are so different and peaceful.”

A personal passion for yoga fuels the classes. Beckjord started practicing yoga in the 1980s. 

A break in practicing yoga due to a new job proved how beneficial the poses were. When she took an international sales job and traveled non-stop, the wear and tear of travel and work eventually took its toll. Mostly, it was the physical pain from traveling

She decided to take command of that and called the closest studio to her house at the time. Beckjord asked the instructor for easy poses to do in the hotel room when she traveled. 

Her first class was rewarding in pain relief and so much that she kept practicing yoga even after she didn’t travel for work.

She discovered it helped her to be more present in her surroundings, and slows down a fast-paced mind.

“I’m more calm,” she said. “I also found out I hold a lot of tension in my body. Yoga helps me let go of some of that tension.”

Eventually her husband Charles joined in and also enjoys yoga. Both completed 500 hours of training and earned a certificate, which enables them to teach. Completing 500 hours of training equals about three years.

The Beckjord’s are also embodiment therapists, which is “a hands-on technique that helps unravel deep spinal tension to promote relief from pain and stress.” One session can have the effect of six Svaroopa© yoga classes, Beckjord said. Each session lasts one hour. 

Students lie in a relaxation pose on the floor propped with blankets while Beckjord places her hands on specific areas of their spine. It can help relieve pain and stress from arthritis, fibromylgia and chronic pain, while also helping with feeling better overall, tension relief, reduce stress, restore energy, improve mental clarity, improve sleep and help with anxiety. 

Currently, she offers discounts on embodiment classes. A single session is $45 (regular $65), four sessions are $168 (regular $240) and 10 sessions are $400 (regular $500). To sign up for these sessions, contact her at 651-900-0859 or email

“We call it our midlife crisis hobby, and did it together,” Beckjord joked. “Charles has arthritis and I have fibromyalgia. Yoga really helps.”

Beckjord’s yoga résumé grew to be quite extensive, as she also completed more than 1,000 hours of teaching and training, which allows her to teach more advanced yoga. 

She also keeps on up training by attending review sessions where she can also learn new poses and teaching techniques. She can host half-day workshops and teach prenatal yoga poses that help with lower spinal relief.

Svaroopa© yoga is a type of yoga where props like blankets help to reduce stress along the muscles of the spine. Unlike other types of yoga where people flow from one pose to the next, Svaroopa© yoga holds the poses longer to release tension from the body.

It also helps with spinal decompression, which lengthens out the spine and decompresses tight spots. 

Perhaps another interesting thing about Svaroopa© yoga is that it doesn’t use yoga mats. Instead, everything is supported by the use of blankets. 

In 2019, Beckjord will have completed 10 years of teaching. For her day job, she works for Svaroopa© yoga as an enrollment advisor. 

Svaroopa© yoga is a certified yoga and meditation school based in Downingtown, Pennslyvania.

Also in 2019, a new session of yoga classes will begin.

Classes will start Wednesday, Jan. 9, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Spring Grove High School, and go for six weeks on Wednesdays.

The plan is to hold the classes in the library, if the construction is finished by then. 

Participants need to wear comfortable clothes and bring a bottle of water if they want. Props are provided. Cost is $75 for the six weeks.

To sign up, contact Community Education advisor Cindy Thorson at 507-498-3221, ext. 105.